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WHY DID THE VIRGIN MARY APPEAR AT KNOCK?

WHY DID THE VIRGIN MARY APPEAR AT KNOCK?

A meditation on Knock will ultimately lead us to the Lamb of God, who for us was slain on Calvary, and by whose Precious Blood our souls that have been defiled by sin are washed white as snow. (Rev. Patrick O’Carroll) 

Pilgrimages to Knock began soon after the apparition and have continued ever since. About 250.000 pilgrims go there every year. This is a remarkable number in view of the fact that Knock has no train or bus service and that the shrine has not been formally approved by the Holy See. During World War II, 10.000 Masses were offered in honour of Our Lady of Knock for the intention of keeping Ireland at peace. Many of the people credit Our Lady of Knock with keeping Ireland out of the war just as the Portuguese people give credit to Our Lady of Fatima for keeping their country at peace.

WHAT DID THE APPARITION MEAN? 

What did the apparition mean? At Paris, La Salette, Lourdes, and Fatima, our Lady spoke. We have her own words on record. At Knock, she said nothing. Yet we can be certain that she did not appear without an important purpose.

IN IRELAND, THE PEOPLE HAD CLUNG TO THE CATHOLIC FAITH DESPITE OF BITTER PERSECUTION

In most of Europe – in most of the [Western] world, for that matter – people had turned away from God. Even in such supposedly Catholic countries as Spain, France, Italy and Portugal, men were worshipping reason and science instead of God. But in Ireland, the people had clung to their faith despite three and a half centuries of bitter persecution. They had retained their love for the Mass during all the years that the Mass had been officially outlawed. They had never faltered in their devotion to the Blessed Mother, a devotion that had been brought to them by St Patrick himself. Every night, in thousands of miserable huts all over the island, families had knelt on the dirt floors to say the Rosary together.

SHE COMFORTED THEM IN THEIR AFFLICTIONS

It seems likely that Mary appeared in Ireland to reward the people for their devotion and to comfort them in their afflictions. Many authorities on Knock point out that Mary was wearing a crown. Thus, they say, she represented herself as Queen of Heaven, Queen of Ireland, Mediatrix of All Graces.

“The mission of Mary to Knock was not one of rebuke or complaint against our people, as was the case at La Salette and Lourdes, against the prevailing vices and abuses that were shaking the very foundations of the faith in France in those days,” says the Very Rev. Jarlath Royanne, O. Cist. “Neither was it a call to do penance on those occasions. No, Mary’s mission to her faithful Irish people that day was rather one of compassion and comfort, with an implied admonition, no doubt, of dangers ahead, and the imperative need of prayer.”

ON THE EVE OF THE OCTAVE OF THE FEAST OF THE ASSUMPTION

Every early account of the apparition points out that it occurred on the eve of the octave of the feast of the Assumption. Did Mary intend to establish this connection between Knock and Fatima? At any rate, the coincidence is interesting. It reminds us that Mary, Our Queen, has an Immaculate Heart filled with an almost infinite love for us.

ST JOSEPH’S APPEARANCE 

The two saints who appeared with Mary were the two people – next to our Lord Himself – who were most closely associated with her while she was in this world. St Joseph cared for her before Jesus was born, and he watched over her and Jesus for some years after that. As head of the Holy Family, he is the model husband and father. He is also the Patron of the Universal Church. In the apparition he was looking at her in a reverential manner. It seems likely that he represented all families and also the Universal Church in paying homage to the Queen of Heaven.

ST JOHN THE EVANGELIST 

St John was Mary’s guardian after our Lord’s death. He stood with her beneath the cross while Jesus was giving His life for the world. It was to him that our Lord almost with His dying breath said, “Behold thy mother.” St John represented all of us that day.

So St John, by his presence, reminds us that Mary is our spiritual mother. But he does more than that. He was garbed as a bishop and was reading from a Mass book. He stood next to the altar on which was the sacrificial lamb. St John was our Lady’s priest. After the Resurrection he celebrated Mass for her, renewing the sacrifice of Calvary, bringing her Son down upon the altar. It is also interesting to note that in the Apocalypse, St John refers to our Lord as a lamb twenty-seven times.

A FULLER APPRECIATION OF THE HOLY MASS

“A meditation on Knock,” says Rev. Patrick O’Carroll, C.S.Sp., “will ultimately lead us to the Lamb of God, who for us was slain on Calvary, and by whose Precious Blood our souls that have been defiled by sin are washed white as snow. Our attention is above all turned to the same Lamb of God that is mystically immolated on every altar, when the Holy Mass is celebrated. Knock, then, calls for a fuller appreciation of the Mass.”

Virtually all authorities agree on this, that the Mass is the central feature of Knock. Our Lady herself seems to bear this out. Most of the cures there have occurred during Mass. At Lourdes, the Blessed Sacrament is emphasized; at Knock, the Mass.

– From: “The Woman Shall Conquer” by Don Sharkey, Prow Books/Franciscan Marytown Press, Libertyville, IL, 1954

 

 
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Posted by on October 26, 2019 in Devotions

 

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THE CHILD OF MARY GIVES THOSE OUTSIDE THE FOLD A GLIMPSE OF THE TREASURES WITHIN

THE CHILD OF MARY GIVES THOSE OUTSIDE THE FOLD A GLIMPSE OF THE TREASURES WITHIN

Previous  chapter: IN OUR OWN AGE, THE CALL TO SANCTITY IS MORE IMPERATIVE THAN EVER

HOLINESS THROUGH MARY

At every Mass [the soldier of Mary] assists, if possible, he will receive Holy Communion, knowing that this partaking, with the priest, in the Flesh of the Infinite Victim, is essential if he wishes to gather the fruit of the Sacrifice in all its fullness. The Mystical Body of Christ is starving because so few of its members are nourished with the Divine Bread; the Mother of that Body is filled with anguish at the contemplation of Her Babe thus suffering. The members, inspired by Mary’s spirit and sharing the anguish of Her Immaculate Heart, will avail themselves of every avenue of apostolic action to arouse love of the Blessed Sacrament and banish sin. Each Communion brought about is a gain that cannot be measured according to human standards.

Each Communion is a gain that cannot be measured according to human standards

The Child of Mary shows his love of the Blessed Sacrament by striving to receive Holy Communion often, thus giving to those outside the Fold a glimpse of the infinite Treasures that are within. Through his own devotion, he becomes supernaturally convinced of the full significance of the Real Presence as the continuation of the earthly life of the God-Man [our Lord Jesus Christ], drawing Him in actual fact out of the dim past of history and bringing Him, as He is, whole and entire, into the sphere of this present life. Thus convinced, he makes every effort to pass on that conviction to those who have it not. He tries to make them realise that, through the miracle of the Eucharist, they are able to touch Jesus, talk to Him, contemplate Him, and busy themselves about His real self even more truly, more intimately and more closely than could His dear friends at Bethany.

– Excerpts from “Holiness Through Mary” by Fr Francis Ripley, copied from a pamphlet by the Universal Rosary Association. For the Association’s details, please visit the link above (Part I)

 
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Posted by on November 10, 2016 in Prayers to Our Lady

 

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“BLESSED INDEED IS MARY” – THOUGHTS ON THE ASSUMPTION

“Today we celebrate the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Today’s Solemnity celebrates the truth that the Blessed Virgin Mary, when she had completed her life here on earth, was in body and soul assumed into heaven. This solemnity has been celebrated in the Church since the seventh century and this truth was defined as an article of faith in 1950.

St Bernard of Clairvaux wrote of today, ‘We in our exile have sent on ahead of us our advocate who, as mother of our Judge and mother of mercy, will humbly and effectively look after everything that concerns our salvation. Today earth has sent a priceless gift up to heaven, so that by giving and receiving within the blessed bond of friendship, the human is wedded to the divine, earth to heaven, the depths to the heights… Blessed indeed is Mary, blessed in many ways, both in receiving the Saviour, and in being received by the Saviour.’

A French mystic writer of the seventeenth century wrote, ‘There is nothing more wonderful than this life of Jesus and Mary; the holy life that he pours continuously into her, the divine life with which he animates her, loving and praising and adoring God his Father in her, giving a worthy supplement to her heart wherein he abounds with pleasure.’

We are reminded so often that Jesus loves it when people give honour to His Mother. Today we continue our prayers to Mary and honour her in the great privilege that has been afforded her today. We can make our own the opening prayer of today’s Mass:

‘Almighty ever-living God,

who assumed the Immaculate Virgin Mary,

the Mother of your Son,

body and soul into heavenly glory,

grant we pray,

that, always attentive to the things that are above,

we may merit to be sharers of her glory.'”

– From: Spiritual Thought from Fr Chris/2015

 

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MOTHER OF SILENCE, SAVE US FROM THE IDOLATRY OF THE PRESENT TIME

“Mother of silence, who watches over the mystery of God, save us from the idolatry of the present time, to which those who forget are condemned. Purify the eyes of pastors with the eye-wash of memory: Take us back to the freshness of the origins, for a prayerful, penitent Church.

Mother of the beauty that blossoms from faithfulness to daily work, lift us from the torpor of laziness, pettiness, and defeatism. Clothe pastors in the compassion that unifies, that makes whole; let us discover the joy of a humble, brotherly, serving Church.

Mother of tenderness who envelops us in patience and mercy, help us burn away the sadness, impatience, and rigidity of those who do not know what it means to belong. Intercede with your Son to obtain that our hands, our feet, our hearts be agile: let us build the Church with the Truth of God.

Mother, we shall be the People of God, pilgrims bound for the Kingdom. Amen.

(Pope Francis)

 
 

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MOST FAIR OF ALL THE VIRGIN HOST (HYMN)

Most fair of all the virgin host!
Enthroned above the starry sky!
Who with your bosom’s milk did feed
Your own Creator Lord most high.

What man had lost in hapless Eve,
Your sacred womb to man restores;
You to the wretched here beneath
Have open’d Heav’n’s eternal doors.

O Lord, to you be lasting praise,
O Jesus, born the Virgin’s Son,
With Father and with Holy Ghost,
While everlasting ages run. Amen.

 
 

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PRAYER ON THE SOLEMNITY OF THE ASSUMPTION

V. The holy Mother of God has been raised up.
R. Beyond the choirs of Angels to the heavenly kingdom.

Wither do you go, O Virgin most prudent, like the morning rising. You are all comely and beautiful, daughter of Sion, fair as the moon, bright as the sun.

Let us pray.
Almighty and everlasting God, you received the immaculate Virgin Mary, the Mother of your Son, body and soul into the glory of heaven; grant that, with our gaze ever fixed on heavenly things, we may be counted worthy of a share in her eternal glory. Through the same Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever. Amen.

 
 

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THE LORD, WHOM EARTH, AND AIR, AND SEA (HYMN)

The Lord, whom earth, and air, and sea,
With one adoring voice resound;
Who rules them all in majesty,
In Mary’s heart a cloister found.

Lo! in a humble Virgin’s womb,
O’ershadowed by Almighty power;
He whom the stars, and sun, and moon,
Each serve in their appointed hour.

O Lord, to you be lasting praise,
O Jesus, born the Virgin’s Son,
With Father and with Holy Ghost,
While everlasting ages run. Amen.

 
 

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